Over 20 brilliant young musicians from across the world will descend on our beautiful campus for the return of Quartet Fest West chamber music festival and concert series. Running from June 26 to July 8, students will undertake two weeks of intensive chamber music study with the Lafayette String Quartet plus guests the Penderecki String Quartet and the Bellas Artes String Quartet. Better yet, the general public is invited to hear everyone perform . . . including the final LSQ concert before they retire as an ensemble, as their both final performances in August are now sold out.

About Quartet Fest West

QFW 2023 brings together two of Canada’s most beloved string quartets: the Lafayette and Penderecki Quartets, who are also longtime friends and colleagues. Also performing and giving masterclasses is Cuarteto Bellas Artes, the School of Music alumni quartet formerly known as the Chroma Quartet, who were also the first quartet to come out of UVic’s Graduate String Quartet in Performance program.

Among the events is a concert with the LSQ and celebrated local violist Yariv Aloni, followed by the premiere of John Bolton’s new film Singing Through Generations featuring music by Nicole Mandryk and Leila Lustig. Currently an MFA candidate with UVic’s Visual Arts department, Mandryk (seen above) is an artist of Anishinaabe, Irish and Ukrainian descent who has created three songs which were then orchestrated for voice, drum and string quartet by Leila Lustig. A Q&A will follow the screening.

In addition to the concerts (see below), QFW students will be receiving private lessons, daily coachings and masterclasses, and workshops on string instruments and using their bodies in the most optimal way.

All concerts, masterclasses and workshops are open to the public and happen in the School of Music’s Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. A festival pass will support the participating musicians and allow you to enjoy all the concerts and public masterclasses for one low price, but you can also order individual concert tickets here.

More to come this summer

You can also join the LSQ for the documentary film premiere of Creating Harmony, which delves into the challenges and joys of three decades in the life of a string quartet, including their famed 2017 journey performing the Shostakovich Cycle.

Creating Harmony runs at 5pm and 7pm Saturday, August 19, at UVic’s Cinecenta movie theater. There will be a Q&A with the LSQ and director Arwen Hunter after each showing. Film premiere tickets are available on Eventbrite (use the Promo Code LSQFRIENDS for discounted tickets).

And while the LSQ’s final UVic concerts on August 18 and 20 have now sold out (remember, you can still hear them at Quartet Fest West), they will be performing select dates in Ontario in July. Check their site for full info.

QFW schedule

Mozart and Movie Night: 7pm Thursday, June 29 

  • Violist Yariv Aloni joins the Lafayette String Quartet in Mozart’s Viola Quintet in G minor, K. 516, plus the premiere screening of Singing Through Generations

Penderecki String Quartet: 2pm Saturday, July 1 

  • Featuring Mozart’s String Quartet No. 14 in G Major, K. 387, Erwin Schulhoff’s Five Pieces for String Quartet and Johannes Brahms’ String Quartet in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1

QFW Gala Concert: 7pm Wednesday, July 5

  • Featuring the Lafayette, Penderecki and Bellas Artes String Quartets and QFW Participants performing octets by Murray Adaskin, Dmitri Shostakovich and Felix Mendelssohn, plus Johannes van Bree’s Allegro for Four Quartets

Cuarteto Bellas Artes: 7pm Friday, July 7

  • Performing Mozart’s “Dissonance” Quartet K. 465, Joaquín Turina’s “La oración del torero” and Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major

Participant’s Concert: 2pm Saturday, July 8 

  • After nearly two weeks, the young musicians of Quartet Fest West will perform the new repertoire they’ve developed together—full program will be announced on the LSQ website during second week of festival (reception to follow).

As in years past, Quartet Fest West is partnering with St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and the Victoria Summer Music Festival to showcase talented young musicians.